Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 12, 2013 - 12:54am PT
So I have read the PMI study and understand fall factors but does anyone have any definitive beta on impact of climber weight on gear stability?
For example, the tests are conducted with 80kg mass falls but in practice how many people, with gear on, weigh this little? Especially on overnight trips.
What is the current school of thought on weight (either in spent beer or extra gear) and when to worry about gear stability in relatively solid rock?
Thomas, the physics of gear and how equipment is presented in 2013 is truly empirical as it concerns it's use.
That said, the climbing equipment on offer today, compared to what was on offer in 1978, when I first climbed is of a quality that the old stuff really can't compete with. The old stuff was pretty good though.
What really matters is what never changes and that is sharp edges the climbing medium has as a property.
There's no better way to be safer than taking into account, where you are.
According to the article, a 300lb climber could generate 13.5kN fall in a very bad (1.7 factor) fall.
BD stoppers are rated at 6-10kN, Camalots are rated 8-14kN, so in theory a very big guy with an extraordinary amount of gear taking a hard fall would break just about any anchor consisting of a single piece.
What Daves link really shows is that the worst kind of falls to take are those close to the anchor with very little rope out. You don't have to be big to break gear when the fall factor increases. The hard thing for most people to realize is that is puts less force on the gear to take a 40 footer at the end of a long pitch (150ft) than is would be to take a 10 foot fall close to the anchor because there isn't enough rope in the system to absorb the force and as a result there is a lot more force put on that piece. It all comes back to the length of the fall/amount of rope in the system.
Although I've got to admit the difference between the 176 lb and 225 pound climber is more than I would have guessed